Culture / News & Politics

Two Things I Like and One Thing That Makes Me Mad

My Custom Story is a site where you can order totally customized photo board books. What a neat way to make sure our kids see positive images of their families from a very young age! It would be great if they had gay and lesbian families represented in their example books, but it looks like all of the examples come from the owner’s family, so I guess I can’t expect her to make up a lesbian auntie getting pregnant with donor sperm just to be inclusive!

Speaking of sperm (what a segue!), Sfrajett has a great post about buying sperm, contemplating parenthood, and figuring out definitions of family. It’s been up for a while, but I just read it and found it very thought-provoking. Good luck to you & GF as you venture down this wild and wacky path to parenthood, Sfrajett!

On to my rant of the day.

Smashing, bashing, and crashing… “the 3 important stages of boyhood?”

That’s what Tonka says in a multi-page ad in Parents. “From the way they talk to the way they play, boys are just built different! And Tonka (of course) has the blueprint for the fun they love. The TONKA [no product placement here, thank you] grows with your child so he can sort, walk, and ride to his heart’s content.”

Because girls don’t sort, walk, or ride? Let alone smash, bash or crash?

“Boys don’t just like to be active, they need to be.”

I am the mom to one very very active little boy. One little boy who seems to be determined to conform to every stereotype – whose head whips around when he sees a truck go by, who has never met a ball or a wheeled object he doesn’t like – but that doesn’t mean that the little girls I know don’t need to be active too.

“Enjoy all the wild, wonderful moments and remember, you’re part of a very special group of women – you’re the mom of a BOY!” Gag.

Playing to these stereotypes may sell toys – though not to me – but it also hurts kids. It hurts little girls who want to run and make noise. And it hurts little boys who don’t.

Shame on you, Tonka.

Note that I’m not even mentioning that aside from one possibly-Asian looking kid, there are absolutely NO children boys of color in the whole 8.5 page spread? Oh wait, I guess I did just mention that.

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  1. As one mom of a very very active girl (hello! what toddler *isn’t* into crashing and banging??), I noticed those ads and just about keeled over.

  2. When I first saw these ads I was so upset. Not that I no longer am. My daughter LOVES trucks (mommy, afterall is an engineer who works with the big trucks!).

    She had two things on her holiday wishlist – a kitchen set like at school and TRUCKS. Guess whose trucks won’t be in our home anytime soon!

    I am don’t even know what to do with my rage at the ads. The stuff they are marketing is stuff my powderpuff, cheerleader for halloween, rough & tumble little girl would love. She asked my mom for them when she saw them in the backwards-R flier today 🙁

  3. Pingback: The World is Unfair « Artificially Sweetened

  4. PS – I emailed the company regarding these ads and was told that their gender-specific toys (sic) are based on current psychological research showing that boys and girls are wired differently and that it can likely be traced back to in utero development. But they encouraged me to shop the girl and gender-neutral areas of the parent company (H*sbro) website for toys for my daughter. Yeah… I’ll get right on that…

  5. Barf. I just saw that commercial last week and was thinking the same thing! I am so sick of gender stereotyping children. The only thing it does is repress little girls into submission and reinforce the notion that it’s acceptable for only boys to be “active” because “boys will be boys, after all.” *yawn* Little girls are just as active and need that kind of play, too.

  6. beautiful family!
    Thanks for what you do….

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